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Mercedes orders 'work both ways' - Brawn
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says the team would have asked Lewis Hamilton to stay behind Nico Rosberg if the roles had been reversed in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Hamilton was running in third place with Rosberg fourth and quicker than his team-mate during the closing stages. Rosberg asked numerous times over the radio to be allowed to pass but Brawn consistently denied the requests and said the team would have made the same decision regardless of the running order.
"It works both ways, the drivers know that," Brawn told Sky Sports. "We discussed these things before the race so, of course [Rosberg's] very competitive and he'll be a bit frustrated but it works both ways.
"We asked Lewis and Nico to hold position and both drivers respected that. Whilst it was tough for Nico and I fully expect him to be disappointed, we have now got a car we can fight with and that there will be plenty more opportunities to achieve good results this season."
Brawn added that he felt Mercedes was in with a chance of victory until the final round of pit stops but couldn't continue chasing the Red Bulls due to excessive fuel consumption.
"I think we lost the race around the last pit stops and the prime tyre didn't work so well for us in that third stint of dry tyres, so we lost the initiative then and it was just a question of bringing the cars back in the safest form. We were tight on fuel; the pace was a lot stronger in the race than we anticipated, we were tight on fuel and we needed to make sure that we didn't overdo it because once the opportunity was gone there was nothing to be gained."